About 'life', I have heard people say: 'life is struggle', 'life is like a gold coin', 'life is statue of problem and sorrow'..... but i could not understand what is it?

Will some one explain clearly or does it depend on person perspective if life is like this and why and how? Thanks.

  • Life as human being or life in general ?
    – Ritesh.mlk
    Commented Feb 16, 2017 at 10:28

3 Answers 3


In Buddhism there is the word "dukkha", which has a number of meanings & uses:

(1) "Dukkha vedana", which means "painful feelings".

(2) "Dukkha lakkhana", which means conditioned things are unable to permanently satisfy; or "unsatisfactoriness"

(3) "Dukkha" as "suffering"; i.e., "difficult to bear"; "hard to endure".

Every person born in the world must experience 'painful feelings' from hunger, cold, heat, sickness, brokenness of the body, old age, seeing violence & ignorance of humanity. If a person does not have wisdom when feeling painful feelings, these painful feelings will create sorrow & torment.

Every person born in the world cannot find lasting happiness from conditioned or worldly things. Even rich people become unhappy & bored and must buy new things for pleasure because the old things do not make them happy any more. If a person does not have wisdom when experiencing the unsatisfactoriness of worldly things, their cravings & dissatisfaction will increase, like the addictions of a drug addict increase, until they die from drug overdose.

Life itself can be "dukkha", that is, difficult to bear, hard to endure, because every person must find food to eat, work & take care of a problematic physical body. This "dukkha" is because of attachment to life as "me" & "mine" or selfishness. If a person has wisdom when experiencing the challenges of life, they will not view life in terms of "me" & "mine"; therefore they will not suffer. Life is "dukkha" when there is attachment to life in terms of "self".

Therefore, 'life is struggle' because the body gets hungry, hot, cold, sick & broken and ordinary pleasures do not bring lasting happiness. 'Life is like a gold coin' because there is nothing in the gold coin that can guarantee & secure happiness. 'Life is statue of problem and sorrow' because the ignorance of the mind will inevitably lead to problems & sorrow, which is why the world still has many wars, many social problems and why people still sorrow & grieve.

But the 'Holy Life' of the Buddha is not a struggle, not a (deceptive) gold coin and not a problem with sorrow. The Buddha explained Nirvana is undeceptive true happiness (MN 140). Nirvana is experienced when the mind does not have attachment to anything as "I", "me" & "mine".

His release, being founded on truth, does not fluctuate, for whatever is deceptive is false; Nirvana — the undeceptive — is true. Thus a monk so endowed is endowed with the highest determination for truth, for this — Nirvana, the undeceptive — is the highest noble truth.

MN 140

This is peace... the calming of all formations, the relinquishing of all attachments, the ending of craving, dispassion, cessation (of suffering), Nibbāna.

MN 26


Suppose I gave an good answer or a bad answer in both cases you do not get close to the reality because you will just believe me or not.

Buddhism teaches you not to believe any thing you heard just observe yourself, Focus on sensations because higher class intellect is the only thing which differs humans from animals, So be wise and see yourself through vipassana and learn Dharma.

We only ask this question when one is feeling negative sensation, Suppose you are ecstatic you would not ask this question, Why or what is life.

Buddha said "when you realize the truth(how perfect is everything) you will tilt your head to the sky and laugh at it"


A common description of life is as "samsara": which means "wandering from one world to another". There are many published descriptions of "samsara": for example here, or here.

Also, life (or "existence", or "things we've put together") is described as having three characteristics: i.e. impermanent, unsatisfying, and non-self.

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